July 14, 2023

350.org Responds to U.S. Climate Envoy’s “No to Reparations”

(Washington D.C.) U.S. presidential envoy for climate John Kerry said in a congressional hearing that ‘under no circumstances’ would the United States pay climate reparations to developing countries hit by climate-fueled disaster. Kerry’s remarks were part of a hearing on the State Department’s climate agenda.

Jeff Ordower, 350.org’s North America Director, responded:

“We are disappointed and angered by this news, but not surprised, because U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry’s words are just the latest example of Kerry and the U.S. refusing to back up their vague claims for U.S. support in global climate progress with real, substantive action. We were cautiously optimistic that COP27 had opened the door for real progress on loss and damage, and also for wealthier Global North nations—like the U.S., which is one of the largest emitters globally and bears the largest responsibility for accelerating climate chaos across the globe—to help take accountability for the disproportionate and irreparable harm they have caused in Global South communities.

Again and again, Kerry and Biden have tried to walk a tightrope of limited culpability: they talk a big game about ‘interconnected nations’ and ‘the need for a fossil fuel phasedown,’ but so far when it comes time to create actual mechanisms or pay into funds for damage, adaptation, and reparations, or put their words into practice that might actually be meaningful for the Global South communities facing historic and deadline climate impacts every day, they shy away.

350.org will not stop advocating for U.S. leadership that truly takes accountability for the outsized role the U.S. plays in the climate crisis. That includes loss and damage. That includes climate reparations. That includes actual sacrifice and action that reflects the reality that our reluctance to stop catering to fossil fuel profit has jeopardized the lives of millions, if not billions.”


Press Contact: Melanie Smith, [email protected], (917) 408-3145